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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  March 10, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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the line, and i do think that us ving unified and very strong reaction and approach over a lofpk time, not something that's >> i hope you will explain more fully what you think the .anctions are about i think that will help us over the next few days in doing something that is complementary to those efforts. i thank you for being here. >> so, we will start off with deputy secretary burns, who also served as ambassador to russia from 2005 2 2008 and has some obvious firsthand experience. also pleased to have what is the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. we thank you all and all of your
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statements will be fully included in the record without objection. i would ask you to more or less summarized in five minutes. if you go over little bit, obviously the gravity of the situation. members do want to engage in a conversation with you about their issues and concerns. with that, mr. secretary, you are recognized. >> thank you very much chairman menendez. i very much appreciate this opportunity. herepleased to be joined by my colleagues. i appreciate your putting my written testimony into the record. before addressed the issue of extremism, the mcdivitt quick summary of events in ukraine as you expected -- as you requested. shrine of thehe fallen, secretary kerry made clear america's deep and abiding commitment to ukraine's
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sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of russian aggression and our interment -- our determination to ensure that the people of the ukraine used -- get to make their own choices. that is a bedrock conviction for the united states. on my own visit last week i was profoundly moved by the bravery and selflessness of ukrainians and profoundly impressed by the commitment of the new interim government to reach a cross lines to haveer good relations with all of its neighbors including russia. while we and our partners work to support ukraine's transition, russia worked actively to undermine it. russia's military intervention is a brazen violation of its obligations. no amount of posturing can obscure that fact. ukraine's interim government --, has by 82% of the
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showed massive restraint. they need and deserve our support. obama, secretary kerry and the whole staff have been divide diligently to support for the ukraine and eight path to de-escalation. we look forward to working with this committee and with the congress on each of the elements. first, immediate support for the ukraine as it deals with enormous economic challenges and prepares for critical national elections at the end of may. secretary kerry announced our intent to seek a $1 billion loan guarantee. that will be part of the major international effort to build a strong economic support package undertakes as it reform. that effort includes the imf and laid out its own substantial assistance package yesterday. hisprime minister and colleagues are committed partners and understand the ukrainian government has
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difficult reform choices to make after inheriting an economic mess from yanukovych. their considerable economic potential has never been matched by its business environment or time toership. now is a get their financial house in order and realize its promise. deterring further encroachment on their territory and declaring an end to the russian encroachment on crimea. we are sending international observers to crimea and eastern ukraine to bear witness to what is happening and make clear that minorities are not at risk. this is never a credible claim by russia, nor a credible pretext for military and -- military intervention. there are clear costs for russia has artie done. we want to make clear that the cost will increase significantly
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if intervention expands. signed an president executive order authorizing sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans and individuals and entities responsible for activities the democratic processes or institutions in the ukraine, threatening the peace, sovereignty or territorial or that purports exercise authority over the ukraine without authorization from the ukrainian government in kiev. this eo will be used in a flexible way. put inte department also place visa restrictions on a number of officials and individuals. we continue to look at every aspect of our relationship with russia from suspension of preparations for the sochi g8 summit, to pausing key elements in our bilateral dialogue.
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are moving immediately to reinforce our treaty commitments to our allies. as secretary hagel stressed yesterday, were taking steps to support nato partners. we are enhancing participation in nato's air policing mission in the baltics. workingy kerry is intensively to de-escalate the crisis in order to restore ukraine's sovereignty, while creating a diplomatic offramp. we support direct dialogue between kiev and moscow facilitated by an international contact luke. as a president and the secretary of emphasized, we do not seek confrontation with russia. isn't the interest of ukraine and russia to have a healthy relationship born of centuries of cultural and economic ties. the will exists among the ukraine's new leaders. it cannot happen if russia to 10 years down its current dangerous and irresponsible path.
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it will only bring greater isolation and costs for russia. our strategy needs to be steady and determined, mindful what is at stake for ukrainians and international norms. of the to be mindful enduring strengths of united states and its partners and the very real weakness is sometimes a secured by russian bluster. most of all, president putin underestimates the commitment of ukrainians across the country to sovereignty and independence and to writing their own future. working with our allies and leaving the door open to de-escalation and diplomacy, if russia is prepared to play by international rules. let me turn briefly to the love levant. o the
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the ruthless reaction of some regimes and the efforts of violent extremists to exploit the resulting chaos. nowhere have these trends converge more dangerously than in syria. the conflict and the assad magnet for become a foreign fighters, many affiliated with terrorist groups from across the region and around the world. these fighters, mostly sunni extremists constitute a long-term threat to u.s. national security interests. from the other side, assad has .ecruited mostly shia fighters the hard reality is that the grinding syrian civil war is now an incubator of extremism on both sides of the sectarian divide. we face a number of serious risks to our interests as a result. groups look to gain long-term safe havens.
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there is a risk to israel and other partners from the rise of iranian backed extremist groups, especially lebanese hezbollah. constitutes a great humanitarian crisis in this new century. these challenges require a steady, comprehensive american strategy aimed at isolating extremists and bolstering moderates, both inside syria and amongst our regional partners. i highlight for elements of our strategy. andre working to isolate degrade terrorist networks in syria. that means stepping up peppers --h other governments stepping up efforts with other governments. it also means stepping up efforts to strengthen the moderate opposition without which progress toward a negotiated transition of leadership through the geneva process is impossible. strengthened moderate forces are critical to accelerate the demise of the assad regime and to help syrians build a
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counterweight to the extremists who threaten the present and post aside future of syria and the region. none of this is easy, but the stakes are high. second, we are pushing hard against iranian financing and material support to its proxy groups in syria and elsewhere. we are working with partners in the gulf and elsewhere to curb financing flows to extremists. third, we are increasing cooperation with turkey and intensifying our efforts to strengthen the capacity of serious other endangered neighbors. in jordan, we are further enhancing the capacity of the jordanian armed forces to police its borders and deepen intelligence cooperation on extremist the rest -- on extremist threats. has been put on jordan's resources. support for jordan has totaled
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about $1 billion for recent years. i can think of no better investment in regional stability than our efforts in jordan. in lebanon we are supporting the lebanese armed forces to help deter spillover, that are monitored the border with syria, and help bolster the government's policy of disassociation from the syrian conflict. new cabinetn of a provides renewed opportunity for our strong engage commitment to lebanon's security and economic stability. in iraq, we are providing information to combat the rising threat from the s and l. snl. that was one of the main purposes of my last
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visit to baghdad at the end of january. i appreciate the close you,ltation i've had with mr. chairman. finally, we are supporting global efforts to ease the humanitarian crisis in syria through the $1.7 billion we have artie contributed. we continue to work with the golf partners to enhance security. this will be an important focus of the president's visit to saudi arabia later this month. mr. chairman, the rise of poses an in the levant extreme risk for the united states and our partners. ofwant to limit the flow foreign fighters, bolster moderate opposition forces, ease humanitarian crisis and help keep heart is like jordan defend against joint spillover. thank you for your focus on these issues. we look forward to continuing to
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work with you. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i would like to take it one more set of testimony and then recess briefly for the vote and come back. i appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today about security threats in the middle east and how our regional defense policy addresses these challenges. deputy secretary burns described that sectarian extremism a destabilizing influence in the region. that is why our strategy is centered on cooperating with regional partners. the historic transformation in the region offers the united states opportunities and challenges. qaeda,to combat al second, to confront and external aggression directed at her supportthird to
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continued energy in the region. are addressing questions from our regional partners about our intentions in the region. we are working hard to sustain our military capabilities in the region. the united states has enduring security interests in the region and we remain fully committed to the security of our allies and our regional partners. more than 35,000 personnel in and immediately around the arabian gulf. in the review that department retain a we will robust force posture in the region. i would like to briefly touch on some examples of how we are working to improve the military capabilities of our partners, focusing on iraq, lebanon and jordan.
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we have been advising the iraqi government with a long-term strategy. the political solution must involve all the people of iraq. while there forces have proven competent, the security .ituation they face is serious iraqis also have gas and are ready to defend against external threats. we remain committed to working with the iraqi government to develop military and security abilities. this committee knows for a well looking to are also acquire key capabilities from united states. we appreciate the rate decision to move forward with the missile notification associated with this request. they have paid $250 million toward the supply. those articles have been delivered or are expected to arrive in the next few weeks.
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we deeply appreciate your support to move forward with the sale and release of apache helicopters. armedw the lebanese forces as the sole legitimate defense force that has the critical component of lebanon's long-term stability. $1 billion of support strengthens their ability to -- to maintain their borders. lebanon has the fourth-largest i met program in the world. d program-largest ime in the world. in jordan we are deeply committed to maintaining a strong defense partnership. i am hosting the jordanian chief andefense at the pentagon his entire team for a series of
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meetings. as deputy burns says we have no better security partner than jordan. we enhance their border security and security capability. we provided their government funds300 million in fmf for the year. in response to the crisis in syria, we have military forces in jordan. in addition, we are providing equipment and training that will supplement border security programs and improve the capability of the military to detect illegal attempts to cross the border and attempts to smuggle wmd along the border. through these efforts in iraq,
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lebanon, jordan and elsewhere, the department of defense is keenly focused on building the capacity of our partners to fight extremism and support united states national security interests. look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i am going to have the committee go into recess, cast one vote. the chair will come immediately back. from director olson, and then we will proceed to questions. the committee will be in recess subject to the call of chair. [general conversation] >> this hearing will come back to order. our thanks and apologies to our
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witnesses. director olson. a year ago i was here to talk about threats and north africa. i appreciate the opportunity to be here again. as you are aware, we continue to face terrorist threats to the united states and our interests overseas, particularly in parts of south asia and the middle east and africa. the regional instability in t stand outhe levan to me. we must considers syria in the context of the global terrorist movement. adapted byda has
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becoming more decentralized and shifting away from large-scale plotting that was exemplified in the attacks of september 11. al qaeda has modified its tactics and looks to conduct simpler attacks that don't require the same degree of resources and training. we are facing a wider array of variety ofa greater locations across the middle east and around the world. in comparison to the al qaeda of afghanistan, these smaller and less sophisticated plots are often more difficult to detect and disrupt. that has put greater pressure on us to work more closely with our partners here at the table, across the federal government, and around the world. become the preeminent location for al qaeda aligned groups to recruit and train and
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to equip what is now a growing number of extremists. some of them seek to conduct external attacks. they deploy their own personnel in the country. from a terrorism if, the most concerning development is that al qaeda has declared syria its most critical front and has called for extremists to fight against the regime in syria. thousands ofthat fighters from around the world including hundreds from the west have traveled to syria and many of them have joined with established terrorist groups in syria. this raises concern that couldlized individuals return to their home countries to commit violence at their own participate in al
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qaeda directed plots aimed at western targets outside of syria. syriaeen a coalescence in is al qaeda veterans from --hanistan and afghanistan and hack is 10 bring their battlefield experience. and pakistan bring their battlefield experience to the country. i recently traveled to lebanon and jordan. the impacts of the continuing conflicts continue to be of great concern to officials in the region. hezbollah publicly admitted that is fighting for the syrian regime. the group is sending capable fighters in support for a pro-regime militia.
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in this active support to the drivinggime, it is increased sunni attacks. various factors contribute to instability in lebanon. finally, i will turn to iraq. what we have witnessed there is the former group known as a queue i. i. last year, suicide and car bomb attacks return to peak levels. at the end of last year, the group is averaging one suicide attack her day. falluja, wheren hundreds of isl fighters have joined ranks with former insurgent groups to consolidate
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control of the inner city test areas. the interest in the region is growing and not diminishing. we'll be working closely with our colleagues from state and defense to aide counterterrorism efforts. the last point i will make is that in light of the fire component in the syrian crisis, we are working to gather every piece of information we can about the identities of these individuals. we play a role in supporting the effort to watchlist individuals. our efforts support the broader aviation and border screening efforts of our partners in the fbi and the department of homeland security. to trap the travel of these individuals. the issues associated with certain foreign fighters continues to be an area of the highest priority for us at and tct. ntct. we are working to
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identify and disrupt threats to the u.s.. . on the half of the men and toen at ntt see, i want thank you for inviting me to speak here on these critical issues. thank you. >> thank you all for your testimony. there is a lot of ground to cover here. let me start. secretary, while we are focused on this, i wonder whether the administration is of the view, as some of us are, that the international norms that you talked about in your and thestatement challenge to international norms and how we respond to that is
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critically important far beyond even the ukraine. i was talking yesterday about the consequences of how we respond when other countries like china looks to see what we will do as they consider their options in the south china sea. north korea, in terms of its march to weaponization, places in africa decide whether or not the international community will be responsive. even as we negotiate with iran, at the same time that iran, as we have heard here, is in the terrorismromoting vigorously. me that you need to say which you mean and mean what you say.
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respect, do we understand that this is a challenge in the immediacy about ukraine? it is also a broader challenge as it relates to the message our western allies sent globally. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i agree fully with your point. i think a great deal is at stake in the ukraine today. it is about ukrainians and their ability to make their own choices, but it is also about the wider consequences that you just described. i think it is very important for the united states to make clear that we will put actions behind our words, about her concerns, about what is happened. about providing international norms, not just for ukrainians, but given the wider stakes that
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are involved. it is also important that we work closely with our allies to reinforce the same point. that is what we have been spending a lot of time doing in recent days. we will continue to do that. >> with reference to the ukrainian situation, i know the secretary and his european parisrparts met in yesterday. the russians will not speak directly to the ukrainians. as to the envision willingness of russia to find a diplomatic exit here? what are the necessary ingredients to de-escalate the crisis? essence ofrman, the any de-escalate tory political process is a direct dialogue
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between ukrainian government and the russian government, which is aimed at restoration of ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. the russian government has expressed concerns about ethnic minorities, russian speaking minorities in eastern ukraine and in crimea. we believe that those are unfounded. there is no evidence for any persecution of those minorities, but there are ways of addressing that concern directly with the government in kiev and also through organization like the i/o pce. the as i said, the essence of any kind of diplomatic offramp has to be direct dialogue between ukrainian government and the russian government. >> they reject that at this point. obviously there's is a purpose for the russians trying to
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undermine the legitimacy of the present ukrainian government in a series of international forms they can -- forums, they can make the argument. my concern is that at some point, from my own perspective, is much as we seek to de-escalate this, we seem -- we have seen this picture before. we have seen what president routine did -- what president routine did -- what president putin did in georgia. how serious do we believe is his desire to go beyond crimea and into eastern ukraine? predict,difficult to and we are doing everything we can with our partners to make clear the costs of any such move . as i said, we're trying to
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establish monitors in the ukraine, to beat back the false accusation that there is persecution of ethnic minorities going on there. i think the new ukrainian government has done a good job of making clear its concern about ukrainian citizens, west and east, crustal country. i think we need to continue to push those lines of effort and make clear, as we have done today and the actions that the president has taken, that there are costs. we have to build patient so he -- we have to make clear that there will be costs if they escalate further. hope that as we pursue the diplomatic course, we are organizing as much as possible the international community in joining with us in the strongest response. president putin's calculations will take them as
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far as he thinks he can get away with. let me turn briefly to syria. i question whether or not we are committed to changing the battlefield equation. as this committee voted some time ago in a bipartisan fashion to arm the syrian moderate rebels, nothing will change in assad equation or russia as assad's patron. allow him to hang in there and fight a war of attrition. it is a lot harder now than it was then to change at equation, but listening to what the director talked about, i just don't see that unless we do that we are going to get in a position where we have anything but the potential of a failed the consequences that
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that means to our national security in addition to the bloodshed that is being shed every day in syria. just as you said, there are huge and growing risks in syria and in the spillover of serious violence into the wider region. we are looking actively at for the ways in which we can support the moderate opposition. as you know, we're trying to intensify cooperation with other backers of the moderate opposition. improved theve cooperation and coronation with some of the other backers of the moderate opposition to ensure both that they get the support , but also that extremists are denied the funding and the flow of arms that are enabling them to increase their strength. art of it is what we do and part of it is what we can work with our partners to do. >> i have a sense that we are not as robust as we should be. unless we are, we are not going
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to change the equation in syria, which means that we are in for a world of hurt as we move forward. finally, this committee gave the president the authorization for the use of force, which i think was a critical element of his ability to at least pursue the chemical weapons issues that syria possesses. they have missed two deadlines already. i now see a report where they are accelerating without actually doing anything. it is inconsequential to say you are accelerating. theare we going to get commitment of action by the syrians as it relates to getting rid of their chemical weapons --? >> mr. chairman, the foot
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dragging of the syrian regime has been deeply frustrating. in the last few weeks there has been an increase in movement in the right direction. by the doing of next week i understand that 35% of chemical materials will have been removed from syria. i still think it is possible to meet the 30th of june deadline that has been set for removal and instruction, but we are going to have to keep wishing very hard to ensure that this process continues. as i said, there has been some accelerated movement in recent weeks, but i don't think he can take that for granted. we need to keep pushing very hard. >> at some point, we need to suggest that are patience is not limited -- is not unlimited. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i did not hear your first questions. i hope i'm not being redundant, but i do want to talk a little bit about syria.
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in the syrian issue, i know that sounds like the chairman and i had a discussion about that. i appreciate the work you are all doing in counterterrorism and certainly with our defense is doing relative to some of the regional threats that did not need to exist, but they now do because of our inaction. what is it that we are expecting to do to change the equation on the ground in syria now that it has become what it is? i don't know if you have policy moves. i know that secretary kerry told me he is on the verge of announcing something. we keep hearing that. we are private conversations with others, but there is no balance change that we are seeing. the is it that administration believes is going to be the thing that causes assad to want to negotiate his
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leadership away from syria? the reality -- >> the reality is that without change on the ground, it is unlikely that you're going to see diplomatic progress in geneva or anywhere else. we are looking actively at ways in which we can step up our own support for the moderate opposition, which is had more than its share of challenges. we are working more effectively with some of the other partners, the saudi's for example. the people dropping barrel bombs. are we thinking about doing something to diminish their ability to do that? i know there have been debates support.le x
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.aving actual military training i was to looking at that? we certainly are still looking at a range of options. i can discuss it in this country setting, but we understand urgency of the situation. we all understand what is at stake here. we are looking at what more we partnersut what our can do more effectively to support the moderate opposition and begin to try to change the realities on the ground. >> you understand we've been hearing this for years now. essentially, 100,000 people have died since we first began
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hearing this. what is it within the administration right now that keeps the administration from really wanting to put something forth? do not have the partnerships we had before the region? you is the factor that think its our administration from being slightly more forward? i will say this, things have changed. the options year ago are probably not as great today. who are our partners, our real partners. what is it that you think keeps the administration from wanting to change that balance on the ground? of we decided we are better off with assad in place because the extremists are actually worse than assad? i would like annex a nation. we have been hearing this 100,000 people ago.
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>> i remain firmly convinced and the administration does that assad is a magnet. only for foreign fighters and violent extremism, but as long as assad remains, the civil war will continue and get worse. the dangers will still get worse as well. i don't think our analysis or resolve has changed one bit on that. dohink there's more we can with our partners. i mentioned the saudi's earlier. the president is going to be going to saudi arabia. withrked very effectively the jordanians. we are intensifying our cooperation with jordan as well. this is going to require an all of the above effort. we recognize the urgency of the situation. >> generally speaking, it is
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none of the above. i was just in saudi arabia not that long ago and their one frustrated group of folks at us saying we're going to do something and then not doing anything. they obviously went outside the umbrella. there has been some backlash there, i understand. it is very disappointing year after year to continue to you're the same things and yet no action be taken. i know the situation is much worse now. on russia, has a been a discussion -- people on both sides of the discussed energy issues. i know we are going to talk about sanctions and have some economic relief coming next week. is there any discussion about our energy policy and additional
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pressure that might be placed on russia by moving quickly with that, not waiting a year. >> as you and other members of the committee know well, the shale revolution and the transformation of the global energy market i think gives the united states a great deal of strategic leverage. that we did not have before. it creates opportunities for us and helps the europeans loosened .heir dependence on russian gas over the long term, it gives a strategic assets that can be very important. i think we need to be very conscious of that as we look ahead. conscious of that in terms of what it means for our relative strengths and russia's relatively us is as you look out over the next few years. to answer your question, yes,
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people are looking carefully at that as an element of broader strategy. >> most people that look at this say if we wait a year or two to announce some things or do some things it is not going to have the impact it would have today. i help we don't go through the same process in looking at energy. i think our foreign-policy credibility is close to shot at this time. the series of events that have happened over this last year have weakened us substantially. i know you are implementers and not setters. i am not directing this at you.
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i think we all support the diplomatic activities that are taking place there. that weus are concerned have a series of rolling deals. russia has been our partner in all these things. i think us rushing to some agreement that is not one that is substantial enough will shoot all color -- will shoot all credibility that we have. i would urge the state department and those that are negotiating to please pause. let's make sure that what we do there is something of long-term significance, that matters. but certainly not appear to be rushing into a deal just to make a deal. that is hurt us over the course of the last year. i thank you for your service.
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>> senator corker and i share s. i disagreesion with your assessment. i think this administration has shown incredible leadership and effective coalition building to deal with some extremely challenging problems around the world. work asportant that we closely as we can together. i want to talk about the ukraine specifically. we have talked about this before and i want to underscore how dangerous the situation is, and how russia is violating not just one but numerous international obligations. there are violating core principles. 1997 ukraine and
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russia bilateral treaty, the you and charter, russia's military invasion is a close violation of the security building mechanisms which govern military relations and arms control. i could go on to list many other international agreements that are clearly being violated by russia in ukraine. ukraine has shown remarkable restraint and i commend them for being able to put the spotlight here very villain is it is clearly russia. to deal a mechanism with this. there are observers. ukraine has asked the observer to go to crimea so that we can have objective accounts. i think it is clear to the world and russia's justification here does not exist for what they're doing. very interesting that those observers have been denied entrance into crimea.
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this by people who are dressed up in military gear with no identification. the un's special envoy was accosted by unidentified gunmen after visiting the naval headquarters. i could go on and on about how russia is denying the international institutions that are available in order to deal , it only accelerates the problem. this is an issue that goes well beyond ukraine and russia. tom the western balkans to the south china seas, we have territorial issues in which we worry about military force being used rather than direct lateral discussions. i am proud that the united
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states is taking a strong position and our president has taken a strong position on this, that the executive order that was issued is the right course. here is the challenge. what is the eu doing, what is the united nations during? would've heard a little bit -- we haveand nato heard a little bit about osce and nato. where are we with the you and and other international organizations in the eu? as you know, there is an eu summit that is going on right now. terryent and secretary have been in close touch with the eu leaders over the course of recent days. the eu has taken some steps
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against ukrainian individuals which are consistent with executive order. as we meet here they have arranged other steps. eu leaders understand what is at stake here. as i said, i believe the eu is considering a serious range of other steps it can take. i do agree with you. i think acting as part of a broad international coalition on issues like this is likely to have more significant effect on russian behavior. we will continue to do everything we can, working with our partners in the eu to make clear the cause of what russia -- done and the increasing increasingly significant costs of further escalation. i do believe that the eu understands that and will act on it. what other organization? >>
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the osce will run into difficulties in crimea but we will continue to push as hard as we can. it is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate the falsity of some of the claims that russia leaders have made about what is going on in eastern ukraine and the false accusations about persecution of ethnic russian minorities there. council weecurity will continue to try to keep a focus on the issue as well. internationalery forum that we can to highlight our concerns and build practical pressure on russia to restore ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. >> secretary burns, can you tell me exactly how the administration views russia? i would say russia is a friendly
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rival rather than an unfriendly adversary. >> there are some areas in which as a practical matter we have been able to work together. in recent years, afghanistan is one example. it has been true in some other areas as well, but there are also areas of obvious difference. certainly, most obviously and seriously in the ukraine now, but as been true in other parts of russia. we continue to have serious concerns about human rights abuses within russia itself. the honest answer is that our relationship is a mix of areas of obvious difference and in some cases competition. we can objectively work together, but right now we are in a very difficult. in our relationship with russia because of russian behavior.
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when you look at syria, when you are attempting -- when you are attempting to work with them as partners, do you believe they are operating with the u.s. in good faith or are they being duplicitous? or do they use good faith in afghanistan and more duplicity in syria? >> i think in syria we have been frustrated i large dimensions of russian behavior and actions. the chemical weapons issue we have managed to work together and get some progress towards the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile, which i think is a good thing for syria and the region. in other areas we have been frustrated by the reluctance, the unwillingness of the russian government to push harder on the assad regime and to recognize what is at stake, not just for syria but for the whole region.
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afghanistan, as you mentioned, russia has played a role in facilitating through the northern distribution network the provision of supplies to the coalition effort in afghanistan, in a hard-nosed way, in russia's interest, because it does not have an interest in the spillover of instability from afghanistan. >> the washington post editorial says the administration's position has been based on fantasy. have the evidence in the crimea and ukraine -- is the administration looking more realistically, long-term? think, and i spent a good deal of my own career working in russia, and i've always tried to be realistic about where there are areas of cooperation trying to take advantage of that, but also, to be honest with ourselves about those areas of obvious difference. i think over the long haul, we need to be mindful of our own
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strengths and the strengths of the united states and our partners and the dilemmas that russia is going to face over the long term. >> i've heard that russia is as a certainimea -- as a series of signals of weakness. what gives russia the strength to do what it did? why do they think they can do that with impunity? >> given the proximity of army of two russia and the relative strength of their military to the crimean military -- >> isn't it their oil? the russian, economy is largely dependent on hydrocarbons -- >> is it safe to say that high oil prices which are driven by chaos and the east
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, does that give russia strike? certainly higher energy prices have fueled russian economic growth in recent years, but their growth has tapered off very it has been two percent in the last couple of years as i recall. in whichok at the way the global energy market is being transformed by the shale over they revolution, long haul, those relative strengths of russia will diminish. russia has not taken advantage of the opportunity to diversify its own -- >> we're getting right to the point i wanted to get to. is this administration going to start looking at russia with their eyes wide open, understand the reality of the situation, understand the brute force, the lawlessness, the duplicity of russia? are we going to start laying in
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increased sanctions and costs if vladimir putin continues to do this? or are we going to de-escalate and provide an off ramp and then hope for the best again? ,o we have a well thought out or are we going to develop a well thought out strategy, understanding the reality of the situation now? >> senator, and i think we have our eyes wide open about everything you have described. as it tried to outline in my opening comments, i think we have to use a very careful diplomatic strategy. >> ok, thank you. very much forll being here at a very challenging time in the world. sure whether this is best directed to you, deputy chalet.y burns or mr.
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i know that ukraine is not a member of nato. but there have been some meetings within our nato allies to assess the situation in ukraine. nato may takehat a more assertive posture with respect to what has happened or in either rhetorically some other ways that symbolically might suggest support for ukraine? wonder if you can talk about what actions we might be taking with nato to engage their support in the current situation . start and, let me then i will turn to derek. secretary hagel made clear yesterday that we have taken a number of media practical steps. we have an aviation detachment
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in poland. we are looking to expand cooperation with the polls through that detachment. s through thatle detachment. those are steps that are not just symbolic, they are practical, and they make clear the commitment of the united states and the entire alliance to partners who have real concerns right now. >> senator, if i could add, a week ago today i was with secretary hagel in brussels, where we held -- where we participated in a commission meeting that was thrown together on short notice to discuss this crisis. the deputy defense minister of ukraine was there. today in brussels, secretary-general of nato will be meeting with ukrainian prime minister. natoch of these junctures has issued very strong statements of support for the
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ukrainian people and the peaceful end to this situation. the deputy mentioned, baltic air policing mission, which is a nato mission, secretary hagel announced yesterday that the united states, which is currently managing that operation, we have had four f-16s there. we will be ordering for additional f-15s today, where they will dissipate in a policing effort. made nervouse about the events in ukraine and what russia has been doing. how those speak to actions are being received in russia? clear withbeen very our russian counterparts about what we are doing. as chairman dempsey has had several conversations in the last 48 hours with his counterpart in russia.
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we have been very open with them. they are taking this rather matter-of-factly, to be honest, which is good news. we are not seeking to taken as kothari step, we are looking to reassure some partners who are rightly nervous about what is going on in the ukraine and was this may mean for them.
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